Asia drives sales at Sotheby’s

Asia and Asian buyers continued to dominate sales at Sotheby’s in 2019, with an increasing number of buyers appearing from outside of Hong Kong.

In what was a record year for the auction house’s wine and spirit department, buyers from Asia claimed 66% of total sales in 2019, the highest proportion since 2013 (when it was 62%).

Demand for spirits – a relatively new but rapidly expanding part of the department’s regular offering – was especially high, with 82% of spirits sales going to Asian buyers.

Hong Kong buyers continue to be the single dominant buying force in Asia – and indeed worldwide and the Hong Kong sales accounted for 50% of Sotheby’s US$118 million overall sales.

Hong Kong buyers alone were responsible for US$42m worth of sales in 2019, followed by the US ($24m) and then Taiwan ($21m), mainland China ($12m) and the UK in fifth place ($7m).

Thailand, Singapore, Canada, Japan and Switzerland respectively make up the rest of the 10 leading markets.

On the other hand, while Hong Kong remains very strong, the distribution of buyers throughout Asia is becoming increasingly broad.

In 2017 Hong Kong buyers accounted for 65% of Asian buyers, this fell to 54% in 2018 and to 46% in 2019.

READ MORE: DRC continues to drive sales at Sotheby’s

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